Author Topic: APA #4 with spruce  (Read 926 times)

Offline goschman

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APA #4 with spruce
« on: January 19, 2016, 03:26:59 PM »
How does this look? Basing it off my last attempt which featured cascade and had centennial in place of the simcoe and palisade in place of the citra with a 98% Vienna malt bill. It has a great citrus/grapefruit character but I want to add in some other notes.

I may get some negative feedback on the spruce tips so those can be ignored. I collected some last spring and have been wanting to use them for something...

70% pilsner
30% munich dark 9L

1 oz Simcoe 20 min
1 oz Cascade 20 min

1 oz Citra 5 min
1 oz Cascade 5 min
1 oz coarsely ground spruce tips 5 min

1 oz Cascade DH
option to add spruce tips to keg depending on character of finished beer.

K97 yeast

1.055
~50 IBU
~5.8% ABV
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 03:33:19 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

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Offline IMperry9

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 03:48:25 PM »
I have read about using spruce tips and have been interested in using them also. I personally wouldn't add to a pale beer but if that's what your going for then I say go for it. If you are looking for a blend of citrus and piney notes I think some NZ hop varieties would work well.
Side note, have you found that grinding the spruce tips better extracts there flavor profile?
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.
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Offline goschman

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2016, 03:58:46 PM »
I have read about using spruce tips and have been interested in using them also. I personally wouldn't add to a pale beer but if that's what your going for then I say go for it. If you are looking for a blend of citrus and piney notes I think some NZ hop varieties would work well.
Side note, have you found that grinding the spruce tips better extracts there flavor profile?

I have never used spruce tips. I plan to grind then coarsely in a food processor. I assume this will help to extract flavor vs leaving them completely intact. This is part of my experimental APA series so I figure why not although I have read a lot of positive and negative things about using spruce tips.

I am brewing this on Friday so am planning on using hops that I have on hand. No NZ varieties in the freezer...

The main change that I am considering is adding some more Munich or something to help balance the bitterness and possibly sharp flavors from the spruce. I have gone away from using crystal malts in my pale ales but a little bit might help here as well.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 04:31:19 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline denny

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2016, 05:12:38 PM »
Based on the 2 times I've used spruce tips, I'd say don't pulverize them like you plan.  I used about an oz. or 2 of fresh, young spruce tips and just bashed them a few times to kinda open them up.  That was more than enough, believe me!
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Offline goschman

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 05:13:54 PM »
Based on the 2 times I've used spruce tips, I'd say don't pulverize them like you plan.  I used about an oz. or 2 of fresh, young spruce tips and just bashed them a few times to kinda open them up.  That was more than enough, believe me!

Thanks Denny! I was worried I might over do it.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

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Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline denny

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 05:15:03 PM »
Based on the 2 times I've used spruce tips, I'd say don't pulverize them like you plan.  I used about an oz. or 2 of fresh, young spruce tips and just bashed them a few times to kinda open them up.  That was more than enough, believe me!

Thanks Denny! I was worried I might over do it.

Spruce is very easy to overdo.  Even with some restraint, no one wanted my spruce beers....even me, really.  I forced myself to drink one batch and dumped most of another.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline goschman

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 05:18:09 PM »
Based on the 2 times I've used spruce tips, I'd say don't pulverize them like you plan.  I used about an oz. or 2 of fresh, young spruce tips and just bashed them a few times to kinda open them up.  That was more than enough, believe me!

Thanks Denny! I was worried I might over do it.

Spruce is very easy to overdo.  Even with some restraint, no one wanted my spruce beers....even me, really.  I forced myself to drink one batch and dumped most of another.

duly noted
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

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Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline EHall

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 06:17:46 PM »
when I did my last spruce ale, I did just pale and C55 malt, magnum for slight bitterness, IBUs came in around 25 and added 1oz spruce tips at 45min, no crush no nothing, just toss em in. This was a 1gal experimental batch and it came out suprisingly well. several people who tried it actually liked it and asked me to make it again.

the first time I made it I added the spruce in at 60min, didn't get much out of it. I would suggest going lightly and you can always add more with the next batches if you feel necessary.
Phoenix, AZ

Offline goschman

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 06:36:20 PM »
when I did my last spruce ale, I did just pale and C55 malt, magnum for slight bitterness, IBUs came in around 25 and added 1oz spruce tips at 45min, no crush no nothing, just toss em in. This was a 1gal experimental batch and it came out suprisingly well. several people who tried it actually liked it and asked me to make it again.

the first time I made it I added the spruce in at 60min, didn't get much out of it. I would suggest going lightly and you can always add more with the next batches if you feel necessary.

Thanks for the input. So you used 1 oz at 45 min for a 1 gallon batch?

I was looking back at another string where someone used 4 oz at 60 min with good results. I am kind of treating it like hops late in the boil and hoping to extract some flavor and aroma more than anything else. I am curious if anyone has any experience adding it post fermentation...

It seems there is a lot of conflicting opinions out there which makes it hard to know exactly which route to go.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 06:40:10 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

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Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline goschman

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2016, 03:01:00 PM »
Getting grain today. I have considered some different options but have just decided to stick with my original plan and go simple.

70% pilsner
30% munich 9L

It has a pretty high IBU value for a pale ale so I am hoping that the munich helps to balance it out a bit.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA

Offline EHall

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2016, 05:28:44 PM »
yep, 1 oz at 45 min for a 1 gallon batch. I won't do anything over 1gal for spruce beer, to much room for error and these kinds of brews can easily be dumpers... the spruce is like hops, it can be a bit different every year.

I personally don't think you'll get much out of them at 5min. but experiment and see, you may like it that way.
Phoenix, AZ

Offline goschman

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2016, 09:50:14 PM »
I chickened out on the spruce tips. I was smelling them before adding and they just smelled a bit funky. I nibbled on a few and they weren't bad but not what I was expecting nor something I would necessarily want in a beer. I figured it was better to end up with a good pale ale than a ruined one. They have sat in the freezer for months which could explain the funkiness. In the past I would have just tossed it in so I must be maturing as a brewer...haha.
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Offline IMperry9

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2016, 05:40:39 AM »
I chickened out on the spruce tips. I was smelling them before adding and they just smelled a bit funky. I nibbled on a few and they weren't bad but not what I was expecting nor something I would necessarily want in a beer. I figured it was better to end up with a good pale ale than a ruined one. They have sat in the freezer for months which could explain the funkiness. In the past I would have just tossed it in so I must be maturing as a brewer...haha.

That sucks but hopefully in a couple months you can grab some fresh tips and try again.
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.
Kegged/Bottled: N/A
Coming up:
SMaSH Rye Pale Ale
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Milk Stout

Offline EHall

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 04:43:53 PM »
I added the spruce tips one time that had been sitting in the freezer for almost a year... looked like they could have been a little freezer burn.. turns out it was the best spruce beer so far...
Phoenix, AZ

Offline goschman

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Re: APA #4 with spruce
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 04:57:10 PM »
I chickened out on the spruce tips. I was smelling them before adding and they just smelled a bit funky. I nibbled on a few and they weren't bad but not what I was expecting nor something I would necessarily want in a beer. I figured it was better to end up with a good pale ale than a ruined one. They have sat in the freezer for months which could explain the funkiness. In the past I would have just tossed it in so I must be maturing as a brewer...haha.

That sucks but hopefully in a couple months you can grab some fresh tips and try again.

Yeah I will definitely try this at some point when I pick some fresh. It wasn't worth the risk but the beer is smelling fantastic. Adding mandarins in a few days...
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Kolsch, Summer Gold       

Fermenting: 
Up Next: Euro Pale, IPA